Friday, February 23, 2007

me and me and me

The sign at the Victory Baptist Church in Vergennes reads: God loves you. And you and you. I look around but there are no other cars on the road or parked in the church lot, not a soul about. Just me. When I pass the sign on the way back, same story. I look in the rear-view, and that’s when I see them, just sitting there: a young gymnast with chalkdust and bruises on his thighs, head full of dreams, tapping the ash of his first cigarette on the floormat. Beside him, studying a tattered map, sits a teenage metalhead who wonders whether his girlfriend got rid of the baby. By the window fidgets a coked-up college dropout wearing stolen clothes, pockets bulging with shoplifted cigarettes and the names of people he’d like to be. Rifling through the glovebox in the passenger seat, sits an alcoholic mailman who carries the disease of heartbreak in his heavy satchel. And way in the back, behind the cardboard box of windshield scrapers, blankets and wiper fluid, sits an 11-year-old boy with large ears who wets the bed and snacks on dried cat food. Sniffing nervously, he stares out the rear window, trying to recall the faces that once traveled behind him.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

two more from maggie

a couple bus driver memories from richmond poet maggie hall

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

across the dry grey state highway (chris d.)

chris' take on recent subject matter, click to enlarge

Friday, February 16, 2007

un-foliage air

click here for my latest vpr commentary, on the magic of trees in winter

Thursday, February 15, 2007

shoveling snow with billy collins

shoveling out the driveway at 5:30 this morning, couldn't help but think of this poem

hello, free press? where's my goddam paper!

Monday, February 12, 2007

weekly feature no. 4

check out this music- and pic-oriented blog by eamon coyne, a vermonter and "audio freak" now living in minnesota; he's an engineer at mpr, responsible for making writer's almanac available to the e-masses among other things (i just love the way he uplinks!); he's also cousin to hinesburg blogger maple mama. enjoy.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


I walked into the following conversation between a female customer and cashier at the supermarket check-out. The woman behind the register had recently had a baby.

Cashier: I really like my new OB/GYN.
Customer: That’s great.
Cashier: Yeah, he’s really nice. And really straightforward. He never beats around the bush.

The cashier scanned a bag of chips, the customer tucked her debit card in her purse, both of them blind to the fat double entendre now floating above the conveyor belt. Only my eyes were upon it, time holding its breath. But overwhelmed with possibilities, I froze. Then the moment galloped off. And all was lost but this post.

Friday, February 09, 2007

five-cent review #6

(reviews in five sentences or less)
Factotum (Matt Dillon, Lili Taylor, Marisa Tomei, 2006).

Dillon nails Bukowski alter-ego Hank Chinaski, down to the slow blinking, quiet carriage and tender way he holds his drink – the performance Mickey Rourke should have given in Barfly. Tough and sensitive Chinaski shuffles through menial jobs, darkened bars, flophouses and race tracks, all the while dropping his poems and short stories in the nearest mailbox. The authenticity of a life forged outside the mainstream is especially evident in the internal monologues (much of which come from the Bukowski novel of the same name). Choice bit, coolly rendered by Dillon: "Even at my lowest times I can feel the words bubbling inside me, and I have to get the words down or be overcome by something worse than death, words not as precious things, but as necessary things. Yet when I begin to doubt my ability to work the word, I simply read another writer and then I know I have nothing to worry about. My contest is only with myself - to do it right - with power and force and delight and gamble." Bukowski documentary Born Into This already queued up.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

weekly feature no. 3

this week's feature is stephen bissette's myrant; bissette may be best known for his work on the DC comic Swamp Thing in the 1980s; he now teaches at the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction; his blog posts are in-depth and often studded with samples and links to the work of other cartoonists, illustrators and graphic artists/novelists from vermont and beyond, well worth a regular visit.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

trent pic no. 2

Here's another one by Trent Campbell; he calls it "Mouthing off." Click to enlarge.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

the glory of absence

Really liked today's writer's almanac poem.